Background Patient safety is a key factor in the quality of care and it is the object of public attention.
Improvement strategies have stimulated the development of models that allow a better understanding of the adverse effects related to health care. The most common adverse effects are related to drug use and often are preventable. Therefore, they have to develop strategies to reduce and detect them.
Purpose To describe the development of a strategy designed to improve drug’s storage and dispensing in a pharmacy service to ensure patient safety.
Material and methods Literature review about drugs that are confused: drugs that must be stored and dispensed in special conditions because of their photosensitivity, drugs whose active generic or trade name are written or pronounced in the same way (look-alike, sound-alike: LASA) or drugs that bear a heightened risk when used in error (high alert medication).
Design a colour labelled to avoid the possible confusions. Photosensitive drugs were labelled with yellow point, “LASA” with green and high alert medication with red point. Then, it has been set some posters with the colour code to teach the pharmacist and technicians. After that, we evaluated the results and checked with a survey among the technicians, that this strategy was useful.
Results Of 2,490 drugs that are stored, 89 (3.57%) were categorised as photosensitive drugs, 6 (0.24%) as “LASA” and 66 (2.65%) as high alert medication.
Four error related with dispensation were registered along three months before intervention, however any error has occurred the quarter after that. In addition, after an audit, all the photosensitivity drug’s are stored in optimal conditions.
From 15 technicians surveyed, 90% say to know the strategy implemented and consider it like useful.
Conclusion This strategy has helped the pharmacy service to improve the storage and dispensing quality, avoiding medication error and providing the drugs in optimal conditions to the patients, increasing their safety.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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